Published: 00:00, 11 January 2019
Goalkeeper Ethan Ross had a debut to remember after coming to Maidstone’s rescue.
United had a problem after Ross Worner - due to spend the rest of the season at the Gallagher - was recalled by Sutton last Thursday.
They were offered Colchester third-choice Ross on loan for a month and the 21-year-old met his new team-mates on the coach up to Hartlepool.
Maidstone knew next to nothing about the former West Brom youngster, who’s yet to make a senior appearance for the U’s, but their leap of faith paid off as Ross starred in a 2-1 win against Pools.
He said: “I enjoyed that a lot to be fair. It all happened very quickly.
“I got a call on Thursday from my coach who said there’s an opportunity to play National League football at Maidstone.
“Obviously chances are limited at the moment with Colchester because they’re doing so well in the league, and I want that, I want them to do well.
“In the meantime if I can get some game time here and enjoy it as much as I did then I will do.
“I was playing a bit of 23s football but I want to be playing men’s football.
“That’s the be all and end all for me so in my development it’s important I carry on doing that because I’ve had some good loans in the past.
“I got the papers signed with the club at half eight on Thursday night and I was travelling at half 10 the next day.
“It’s been a while since I’ve played a competitive game but it’s something I’ve been looking forward to for ages.”
“I know this part of the world quite well, all my family’s from up here in the north east, so I knew Hartlepool were going to be a tough side to come to.
“They’re a good side but our game plan worked nearly exactly how we wanted it to.”
The highlight for Ross was a magnificent one-handed reaction save when Carl Magnay met Liam Noble’s free-kick with Maidstone 2-1 up.
He said: “I just flung myself. He was trying to drive the free-kicks in every time and the crowd were getting on top of him because he put a few in my arms early doors.
“I was thinking once he gets one right they’re going to get on the end of it but luckily enough I got a left hand on it so I’m happy about that.”
Ross was aware of Maidstone’s troubles at the foot of the National League before signing but sees them climbing the table.
He said: “I knew the club were in a position where they don’t want to be at this moment in time.
“Unfortunately that’s the position we’re in but we’re looking to get ourselves out of it and I think with the quality we showed there’s no reason why we shouldn’t.
“The situation we’re in is not ideal but I think we should pull away soon.”